Are you wondering whether your doggy can enjoy avocado?
While avocado is associated with some health problems in animals, more so cattle, horses, goat, sheep rodents, birds and even fish. The only animals that tend to suffer from toxicity are animals with more complex GI tracts than dogs and humans.
The good news is, dogs are more resistant to persin as compared to other animals, and can, therefore, enjoy this rich, creamy fruit without harm.
Are Avocados Safe for Dogs?
The seed, bark and avocado leaves contain an oil-soluble toxin known as persin. Persin can cause heart failure, mastitis, and even death. Avocado leaves have the highest concentration.
The ASPCA’s (Americans Society on the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) poison controls data center, only lists persin as harmful to some animals. The list does not include dogs.
Their other source has been dog food manufactures. These manufacturers pass the avocado-containing food via rigorous safety checks for traces of persin. The data shows that any persin present is below detectable levels. Because dog food manufacturers strictly use ripe fruit, the conclusion is that persin levels are higher in the fruit’s leaves and in unripe fruit. What sticks out in most discussions surrounding the safely of avocados in dogs is the pit.
Due to its size, the pit can cause a foreign body obstruction in the esophagus, intestinal tract or stomach, if the entire seed or part of it is swallowed in large chunks. An inflammation of the pancreas (known as pancreatitis) is also a possibility owing to the high-fat content in avocados.
So can dogs eat avocado?
The answer is yes, but extra care should be taken to ensure they do not come anywhere near the seeds, to avoid the risk of ingesting them. The same goes for unripe avocado, its leaves as well as its skin.
Why You Should Feed Your Dog Avocado
Avocado is a unique fruit. While most fruits are primarily rich in carbohydrates, avocados are high in fats. Specifically, the good fat mammals need. In addition, avocados contain protein and ten different vitamins and minerals.
The most abundant of these are:
- Vitamin K
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin B5
- Vitamin B6
- Vitamin E
Looking at this list, it is unsurprising why this fruit is considered a superfood.
Here is how these nutrients are excellent for man’s best friend:
Niacin or Vitamin B3, present in avocados has been linked to the prevention of heart disease. The fats found in avocados also help in absorption of carotenoids. Carotenoids are antioxidants that help protect cells from damage, support the cardiovascular system and boost overall immunity.
Being a great source of high-quality protein, and with 18 amino acids, your dog can benefit from new muscle tissue growth. The fruit has 60% more potassium than a banana. This along with magnesium, contribute to proper cell and muscle function.
The fiber content regulates the quality of food absorption and promotes colon health. A high fiber diet can also reduce the risk of heart disease and diabetes. About 7% of the fruit’s weight is fiber.
A Shinier Coat
A shiny coat speaks of the health within. Rich in Omega fatty acids and Vitamin E, avocados bring out the shine in your dog’s coat. The fat-soluble Vitamin E in the fruit aids in the same function. These qualities explain why avocado is a preferred ingredient in both hair and skin cosmetic products.
Aside from the healthy looking fur, Vitamin E and the amino acids also improve your pup’s skin health underneath so its health all around.
Thickened skin, matted hair, dullness and thinning far will be the least of your worries. Aside from looking good, a dog’s fur provides warmth and heat regulation and protects it against parasites and infections.
Vitamin A is synonymous with eye health. It helps maintain a clear cornea. Typically, dogs see well than humans at night. However, Vitamin A is a component of rhodopsin, a protein that allows dogs to see better in low light conditions.
Better Nutrient Absorption
As if the above are not reasons enough to include avocado in your dog’s diet, the Vitamin C in avocados improve your dog’s ability to absorb all those other healthy, useful nutrients you feed your furry friend.
Serving Your Dog Avocado
For your dog to enjoy this superfood safely, here are a few things to keep in mind:
- To serve avocado to your dog, ensure it is ripe, peeled and pitted. Once that is out of the way, it’s just a little creativity and maybe looking up interesting avocado dog recipes.
- In addition, because of the fat content, be sure not to go overboard on the avocado meals as well. While some fat is essential for your dog’s body to function optimally, too much of it can be detrimental. As with other meals, follow the portion control guidelines provided by your dog’s vet.
- Because dogs have a harder time processing plant products than animal products, introduce it gradually for first-time pups. Just in the same way as you wean a baby, start with a few scoops, observe for any adverse reactions and gradually increase the number of spoons. No matter how much they love their avocado, give only a bit at a time.
Your dog can benefit just as much from avocados as you can. Conversely, this is yet another fruit you can buy for consumption for the both of you (which is convenient). Gradually introduce it and allow Fido to feel and look better from the inside out.